PB&J Banana Dog - 300 - © 2024 - SoYummy

Banana Dog: Inspiration? Or Bunning The Obvious?

When I ran across the post about a ‘new’ PB, J & Banana hot dog, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s an instant classic that’s been waiting 100 years to happen! Why did it take so long to recognise a masterpiece right under our noses?

PB&J Banana Dog - © 2024 - SoYummy via InstagramIt might just have been ‘too obvious’. Or there might not have been sufficient straight bananas around to spark any-one’s imagination. Or maybe folks just couldn’t see the bananas behind the forest of frankfurters.

Whatever the reason, it took more than 100 years since the invention of the PB&J to make the connection.

A little history

First, the filling…

The Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwich was officially invented in 1901. According to no less an authority than the National Peanut Board, “the first peanut butter and jelly sandwich recipe appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Econ-omics written by Julia Davis Chandler. She said to use currant or crab-apple jelly and called the combination delicious, and as far as she knew, original.”

Up to that time, peanut butter had been not only a curiosity but a some-time medical preparation. It was apparently created by Dr. Ambrose Straub of St. Louis, as a high-protein food for older patients who had trouble swallowing, or had bad teeth. Dr. John Kellogg (of corn flakes fame) actually patened a process for manufacturing peanut butter. But it was Straub, who took his invention to the 1885 World’s Fair in Chicago, who introduced it to the masses.

In 1904 Dr. Straub convinced a food company to develop his spread – which was somewhat grainy, like hummus – into the smooth, creamy PB we know today. After the company displayed their product at the St. Louis World Fair, grocery stores began ordering it.

… Then, the bread

At the same time, in the latter half of the 19th century, commercial baking technology was coming of age. The first factory-sliced bread appeared in 1909, concurrent with the first major public exposures of peanut butter. Foodies of time time immediately pronounced it match made in heaven.

Foodies? Yes. We’ve always have them. Just called them by different names. It was they who really popularized the PB&J, at first as a luxury treat. But as PB became more and more popular, and sliced bread became ubiquitous, the all-American sandwich gradually became part of virtually everyone’s lives.

Out of war…

As with so many great inventions, the PB&J came into its own in time of war. PB and Grape Jelly were ever-present components of the American soldier’s ‘K’ field ration packs in the Second World War. And they became as beloved by the infantry as SPAM. Johnny came marching home with PB&J engraved on his culinary psyche. And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Banana was added after the War, as folks looked for new ways to use the relatively few plentiful foods they had access to. Once tried, the epic combo took off like a rocket! Fruit, protein and sweet, jiggly jelley. What more could you ask for?

Enter, the Banana Dog

What a great notion! You look at the thing, and it seems as though it was meant to be. Or had always been there, but you never noticed.

Traditional grape jelly cradling a whole banana, topped with a mustard-like squiggle of peanut butter. A beauteous thing to behold. And we all know what it tastes like. But what fun, as well!

The ‘recipe appeared just this past week, courtesy of Instagrammer SoYummy. Whose name should go down in PB&J history alongside the likes of Straub, Kellogg and Chandler!

My take

Just a thought… Even though the Banana Dog has only just hatched out, so to speak… Way not add a slice or two of crispy bacon and call it ‘The Elvis Dog’?

And check out my many, marvelous ways to evolve and enhance your basic PB&J!

~ Maggie J.